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October 22, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Bosch ProFactor 18V Cordless 12-Inch Miter Saw Review GCM18V-12GDCN

Bosch ProFactor 18V Cordless 12-Inch Miter Saw Review
PTR Review
  • Overall Rating 9.5

The Bosch ProFactor 18V cordless 12-inch miter saw is an attention-grabber thanks to its Axial Glide sliding system. However, its performance and accuracy are what make it a keeper. If you're in the market for a cordless miter saw, we highly recommend giving Bosch's ProFactor line a shot.

Overall Score 9.5 (out of 10)

Bosch 18V Surgeon 12-inch Cordless Miter Saw Brings Axial Glide Design to ProFactor Line

We’ve used a lot of miter saws over the years and Bosch’s 12-inch Axial Glide model has been one of our favorites. When we saw the Bosch ProFactor 18V cordless miter saw brought that Axial design to their high-performance 18V line, we were more than a little excited.


Pros

  • Smooth, accurate axial glide arms
  • Excellent 7 1/4-inch base and 6-inch crown capacities
  • Front-mounted bevel lock
  • Excellent cutting power
  • Outstanding accuracy

Cons

  • Motor isn’t as smooth as a direct drive

Bosch ProFactor 18V Cordless 12-Inch Miter Saw Performance

ProFactor Power

The two big performance characteristics we look for when we’re testing any cordless miter saw is how strong and accurate it is. While our Pros primarily treat miter saws, even 12-inch models, as trim saws, the reality is we do some framing cuts, too. If the saw has the capacity to cut 4x, we’d like to know it has the muscle to do it.

Between Bosch BiTurbo brushless motor and the 8.0Ah Core18V ProFactor battery, there’s an impressive amount of power for cutting even 4×4 if you need to.

Unlike most miter saws, Bosch actually gives you some power options to help you get more of the battery. There are four speed settings to cycle through, including an ECO mode. We were able to cut through everything we tested using the ECO mode, but there’s some wisdom that comes into play. Softwoods such as pine and fir are one thing, just keep that speed up to get the best cuts in your hardwoods. Here are the no-load speeds:

  • ECO: 2550 RPM
  • 1: 3000 RPM
  • 2: 3500 RPM
  • 3: 4000 RPM

With the belt drive, the action doesn’t feel as smooth as models such as Makita’s 18V X2 miter saw with its direct drive. However, there’s plenty of power and our results were outstanding.

Accuracy

First things first—take the time to properly calibrate your miter saw before you get started! Even the best miter saws won’t offer great results if you don’t. You can calibrate virtually anything that might be off, including the glide and bevel tension, so be sure to check out the manual and get it dialed in right.

Cutting with both chop and slide techniques, we got outstanding results. You can calibrate the laser how you like and we dialed it in to border the outside edges of our kerf. Because there are two beams, you don’t have to rely on simply left, right, or center of your kerf.

Even on thicker materials, we were able to shave paper-thin slices from our stock, showing how evenly the blade cut through. As always, let the motor and the blade do the work and you won’t get any blade wobble from this saw. From there, the quality of your calibration is the major limiting factor for accuracy.

Capacity

Aside from the smooth action of the Axial Glide design, Bosch also does a nice job maximizing the cutting capacity of its 12-inch blade and supports it with a 4 3/4-inch tall fence. For base against the back fence, you can cut up to 7 1/4 inches tall. With 45° nested crown, that capacity is 6 inches. The sliding action gives you up to 15 inches of cross cutting. Here’s a full list of what you can expect:

  • Base: 7 1/4 inches
  • Crown: 5 1/2 inches (38°) to 6 inches (45°)
  • 3 1/2 inches max sliding cut depth
  • 13 1/2 to 15 inches cross cutting length
  • 9 1/2 inches at 45° miter cut length
  • 13 1/2 inches at 45° bevel cut length
Bosch ProFactor 18V Cordless 12-Inch Miter Saw Cutting Depth

Bosch ProFactor 18V Cordless 12-Inch Miter Saw Design Notes

Trigger Design

To activate the trigger, you need to slide the safety either left or right with your thumb first. It looks a little awkward, but it becomes second nature after just a few cuts. A quick press of the trigger activates the lasers to help you line up the cut and an LED light to brighten your cutting area.

Front-Mounted Bevel Adjustments

All of the bevel controls are at the front of the saw, and we love that! The bevel lock is on the left. It’s a little tough out of the box, so you may need to give it a pretty good effort to release the tilt. If you need to bevel to the right, first release the tilt, pull the motor head slightly to the left, then twist the knob on the opposite side of the bevel release to open up the full range.

Of course, the miter adjustments are on the front as well. These are more standard with a knob to twist for locking/unlocking and a trigger below that to override detents.


Connected Benefits

If you prefer, you can purchase a Bosch Connected module to go on the saw (it installs on the right side of the handle). Once connected to your phone, you can register and personalize the tool, check status and warning messages, learn general information and view settings, and adjust the speed levels.

Our test unit did not come with a module, so we haven’t tested these features.

Indicators

Bosch packs a lot of information into a small display. Aside from the speed selection indicator, there’s a temperature indicator, notification indicator, and 5-bar battery level indicator. The entire frame also lights up. Green lets you know everything is running well, yellow indicates either the temperature is critical or the battery is nearly dead, and red means it has overheated or the battery is completely drained.

Portable Potential

Without the battery, the saw weighs 59.3 pounds, which isn’t bad at all for a 12-inch dual bevel sliding miter saw. Still, if you’re going to take this to the jobsite (which is why you want a cordless saw in the first place!), we recommend using a rolling stand to make it easier on you. There’s not a great carry system built in and do you really want to heft that much weight around anyway?

Additional Features

  • Integrated base extensions support up to 43 inches across
  • Material clamp
  • Dust bag
  • Onboard 6mm/4mm hex wrench storage
  • Bevel stops at 0°, 33.9°, 45°, and 47° left and right
  • Miter stops at 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, 45° left and right, and 60°, right

Bosch ProFactor 18V Cordless 12-Inch Miter Saw Price

There aren’t a ton of quality cordless 12-inch miter saws on the market and Bosch priced the Surgeon pretty competitively. Without a battery and charger, it runs $749. Adding the charger and 8Ah Core18V ProFactor battery brings it up to $899.

The Bottom Line

The Bosch ProFactor 18V cordless 12-inch miter saw is an attention-grabber thanks to its Axial Glide sliding system. However, its performance and accuracy are what makes it a keeper. If you’re in the market for a cordless miter saw, we highly recommend giving Bosch’s ProFactor line a shot.

Bosch ProFactor 18V Cordless 12-Inch Miter Saw Specifications

  • Model: Bosch GCM18V-12GDCN
  • Voltage: 18V
  • Bevel Angle Range: 47° left and 47° right
  • Miter Angle Range: 52° left, 60° right
  • Blade Diameter: 12 in.
  • Height: 27 in.
  • Length: 32 in.
  • Width: 26.5 in.
  • Weight: 59.3 lbs.
  • Warranty: 3 years with ProVantage registration
  • Price: $899

Learn more on Bosch’s website.

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